Tarka the Otter
The beloved 1927 childrens book, written by Henry Williamson, was based on the Taw-Torridge Rivers in North Devon. Now referred to as The Tarka Trail, the unspoiled rivers and surrounding forestry are among the region's most popular tourist attractions; some are drawn by their love of the book, while others are introduced to it after visiting the area. Those renting holidays cottages in Devon tend to follow the Tarka Trail as it chronologically appears in the book - starting at Canal Bridge near Weare Giffard.
If youre visiting Exmoor National Park, youll have the opportunity to stop and take in the sweeping settings of Lorna Doone, the classic Victorian novel thats inspired more than feature films. Focusing on a farmer who falls in love with the queen of the notorious Doone clan, visitors staying in holiday cottages in Devon can recreate the great romance by visiting Doone Valley themselves.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Its widely believed that Arthur Conan Doyle based his most famous Sherlock Holmes adventure on the Devonshire countryside. Many of the books famous locations are scattered around the county, with Fox Tor Mire believed to be the inspiration for the fictional Great Grimpen Mir, and Baskerville Hall rumoured to be the still-standing Hayford Hall or Brook Manor. Luckily, the Hounds of Devons visitors are happier than the hound of Conan Doyles story, with many holiday cottages in Devon being dog friendly!
Sense and Sensibility
After a particularly serene holiday in the county, Jane Austen based her 1811-penned debut novel, Sense and Sensibility, in the area. Known for her sweeping romances and sharp social satire, Austen dotted scenes from the book all over the county, setting it in the village of Upton Pyne. Visitors using holiday cottages in Devon can still visit the church where beloved characters Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars were married.
Jane Austen wasnt the only great female writer to furnish her imagination here: Agatha Christie was born in Torquay and used many of its cliffs as inspiration for her literal "cliff-hangers". The Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, while born in Yorkshire, relocated here in the sixties professing to have fallen in love with the countryside, and his later works reflected this hugely. Daniel Defoe, the celebrated author of the classic Robinson Crusoe, is also rumoured to have based many of his adventure stories on his beloved Plymouth.
This is only a tiny sample of the cultural history hidden in the Devonshire countryside. Why not discover more for yourself?
About the Author:
Katie Chown is a Property Consultant for Classic Cottages. We have a selection of spectacular holiday cottages in Devon as well as cottages in Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. Whether you're looking for a stunning rural retreat or a luxury cottage on the coast, we have the perfect holiday home for you to fall in love with.